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Case: 14-12524

Date Filed: 06/29/2015

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[DO NOT PUBLISH]

IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS


FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
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No. 14-12524
Non-Argument Calendar
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D.C. Docket No. 1:13-cv-03611-RWS

LASHAWN FUQUA,
on behalf of minor D.F.,
Sui Juris in Propria Persona,
Plaintiff-Appellant,
versus
TERRY MASSEY,
MICHAEL WALDROP,
TONYA L. SEARCY,
THE CITY OF CONYERS,
OFFICER ANTHONY COOK, et al.,
Defendants-Appellees.
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Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Georgia
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(June 29, 2015)

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Before MARCUS, WILLIAM PRYOR, and ROSENBAUM, Circuit Judges.


PER CURIAM:
LaShawn FuQua appeals the dismissal of the civil-rights complaint, brought
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, that she filed in federal court on behalf of her minor
daughter, D.L. The complaint stemmed from a citation that D.L. received for
public indecency and loitering, and the resulting bench trial in state municipal
court. The district court dismissed the complaint, concluding that FuQua, a nonattorney, could not act as D.L.s counsel. The court also denied FuQuas requests
for injunctive relief, recusal, and entry of default. FuQua now brings this appeal,
challenging these rulings and other aspects of the district court proceedings. After
careful review, we affirm.
I.
We review de novo a district courts grant of a motion to dismiss for failure
to state a claim, accepting all factual allegations in the complaint as true and
construing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Glover v. Liggett Grp.,
Inc., 459 F.3d 1304, 1308 (11th Cir. 2006). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6), Fed. R.
Civ. P., motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief can be
granted, the complaint must state a plausible claim for reliefthat is, it must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is
facially plausible. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949
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(2009). We liberally construe the pleadings of pro se parties. Campbell v. Air


Jamaica Ltd., 760 F.3d 1165, 1168 (11th Cir.), cert. denied, 135 S. Ct. 759 (2014).
Individual parties in federal court generally may plead and conduct their
own cases personally or by counsel. 28 U.S.C. 1654. The right to appear pro
se, however, is limited to parties conducting their own cases, and does not
extend to non-attorney parties representing the interests of others. Consequently,
we have held that parents who are not attorneys may not bring a pro se action on
their childs behalf. Devine v. Indian River Cnty. Sch. Bd., 121 F.3d 576, 581
(11th Cir. 1997) (explaining that while Rule 17(c), Fed. R. Civ. P., permits a parent
to sue on behalf of a minor child, it does not permit a non-attorney parent to act as
legal counsel for the child in such an action), overruled in part on other grounds by
Winkelman ex rel. Winkelman v. Parma City Sch. Dist., 550 U.S. 516, 535, 127 S.
Ct. 1994, 2006-07 (2007).
Here, the district court properly granted the motion to dismiss because
FuQua sought to represent her minor daughter, but, as a non-attorney, she was not
permitted to do so. See Devine, 121 F.3d at 581. To the extent that FuQuas
1983 complaint asserted claims on her own behalf, she did not allege sufficient
factual content showing that her own rights were violated. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. FuQuas only connection to the underlying proceedings
that are the subject of the complaint was that she had attended them with D.L. and
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occasionally spoke on D.L.s behalf. Her conclusory allegations that her civil
rights were violated by the defendants are insufficient to survive a motion to
dismiss. See id.
For the same reasons, the district court did not err in denying FuQuas
motion for injunctive relief. Injunctive relief is appropriate only if the moving
party shows, among other things, a substantial likelihood of success on the
merits. Siegel v. LePore, 234 F.3d 1163, 1176 (11th Cir. 2000). Because the
complaint was properly dismissed, FuQua cannot show a likelihood of success on
the merits.
II.
We review a judges refusal to recuse himself for an abuse of discretion.
McWhorter v. City of Birmingham, 906 F.2d 674, 678 (11th Cir. 1990). A district
court judge must disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality
might reasonably be questioned. 28 U.S.C. 455(a). Ordinarily, a judges
rulings in the same or a related case may not serve as the basis for a recusal
motion.

McWhorter, 906 F.2d at 678.

A judges bias warranting recusal

generally must be personal and extrajudicial. Id. One exception to this general
rule is when the movant demonstrates pervasive bias and prejudice. Id.
FuQuas recusal request appears to have been based primarily on a single
ruling by the judge in this case and possibly on the courts failure to rule on her
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motion for injunctive relief. In other words, the alleged bias is judicial rather than
personal. Because neither action shows pervasive bias and prejudice, the district
judge properly denied the recusal request. See id.
III.
FuQua presents several other challenges to the district courts judgment,
none of which have merit. First, FuQua contends that the defendants were required
to retain separate counsel, but she has provided no relevant authority to support
that proposition, and instead relies, as she did in the district court, on criminal
cases, which are not applicable to this civil case. Second, she asserts that the
defendants never filed a responsive pleading and therefore admitted the allegations
in the complaint, purportedly rendering entry of default appropriate, see Fed. R.
Civ. P. 55(a), but the defendants permissibly filed a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6) before filing an answer, see Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b) (A motion asserting
any of these defenses must be made before pleading if a responsive pleading is
allowed.), which stayed the time to file a responsive pleading, see Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(a)(4).

Finally, she contends that the district court lacked subject-matter

jurisdiction, but the 1983 complaint alleged federal civil-rights violations within
the courts federal-question jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. 1331.
IV.
For the foregoing reasons, we AFFIRM the district court.
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